Last week I found out my husbands big deployment sendoff is going to be here on Camp Pendleton, and not down in San Diego like I thought it would be. In trying to decide whether or not I was going to take all of the kids to my husbands sendoff, this slightly alters my decision.
Imagine for a second that your husband is leaving you for 7 to 10 months. That’s hard enough in itself to swallow. I look for the positives, like all the things I’m going to enjoy doing while my guy is gone, but the truth in the matter is that I’m going to miss my husband. A lot. Sometimes the thought of him being gone for 10 months completely suffocates me. No joke. And then I break out into these massive panicky sobs, which of course makes the whole suffocating thing that much better. But what do us mommas do? We step into our big girl panties, pull ‘em up tight, slap a smile on our face and stay strong for our kiddos, and really for ourselves. We don’t want anyone to see the crumbly mess we can be at times, and especially our children. I know for mine, and more so my 5 year old who is a complete daddy’s boy, it’s hard enough knowing that daddy is going away. He’s missed him, cried, and begged for him to come back and my husband was only away on pre-deployment exercises. Me? I was strong mommy. Sure, there was one night when my son and I both sat at the kitchen table and cried our eyes out together, but overall I hold it together and reassure my son with constant positive affirmations.
So getting back to my point. Knowing how hard this is going to be on my son, do I really want to take him to my husbands sendoff? DevilPup is incredibly empathetic, so he is going to instantly absorb the emotion that is all around. On the flip side of that, I’m not sure he’s going to fully understand the magnitude of a deployment unless he is there to witness the sendoff and watch all of these Marines, along with our own, have to say goodbye to and walk away from their families. Although, when I originally thought this I thought we’d be saying goodbye at the ships. I’m not sure saying goodbye here on base and watching them load up on buses, that will be taking them to the ships, quite conveys exactly what I had in mind when using the sendoff to help my son grasp the enormity of deployment. Then again, I was scared that this might be a bit too traumatic for my son and was leaning more towards doing a simple and more intimate goodbye at home, and just me going to see my husband off.
This has all changed though. I’m wondering if maybe now that the sendoff is here on base it won’t be quite so traumatic for my son. My girls I know will be sad, but at the age of 2 they seem to easily bounce back and not dwell on missing daddy as much as their older brother. Maybe if we all went as a family we’d be able to be strong for each other, because my girls are actually quite fantastic at being comedic relief in almost any situation.
I hate leaving my posts so open ended, but I’m afraid in this one I don’t actually have a definite answer to my dilemma just yet.
What would you do? (would love to hear the answers from anyone whether military momma/family or civilian)